Mountain High 

For those of us who have spent the winter bathing in salted meats and cheeses, quaffing beers and watching all 13 seasons of "Dallas," the 2nd Annual Whitefish Pole, Pedal and Paddle Winter Triathlon sounds just awful. But for you good eggs, the ones who have spun on the spin bike, cross-country skied in the rain on putrid brown snow and religiously observed "meatless Monday," the Triple-P is your reward. Here's how it goes down: First, hop in your boat and paddle about two miles. Sweet, you're headed downstream. For now. Looky here, you are headed back upstream. Do the whole thing again. Second, do an eight-mile bike ride, from the fair burg of Whitefish to the base area at Whitefish Mountain Resort via Big Mountain Road. No big deal, it's only 1,500 vertical feet of elevation gain. Now strap on the skis and make your way uphill from the resort base area to the Summit Lodge. That's 2,200 feet of vert. Finally some good news, you get to ski back down and I bury your face in a well-deserved platter of salted meats and cheeses, as well as mugs of delicious beer.

The 2nd Annual Whitefish Pole, Pedal and Paddle Winter Triathlon is held at 10 AM on Sat., Mar. 31, in Whitefish and at Whitefish Mountain Resort and has categories for teams and individuals. Registration is from 7:30 to 9 AM. There is no pre-registration for this event. The cost is $25 per person or $50 per team. Go to skiwhitefish.com for more info.

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FRIDAY MARCH 30

Active outdoor lovers are invited to the Mountain Sports Club's (formerly the Flathead Valley Over the Hill Gang) weekly meeting to talk about being awesome, past glories and upcoming activities. Swan River Inn. 6–8 PM. Free.

Party like it's Ullr's birthday at the North Shore Nordic Club's Thanks for the Snow Party and Fundraiser at the Garden Bar in Bigfork. Bad Larrys perform and there is chili. 6–9 PM. $10 suggested donation.

SATURDAY MARCH 31

Shake off winter and stretch that hammy for the Arlee Buttercup Run/Scholarship Fund Drive. This 5K and 10K race doesn't allow ostriches but allows you humans to compete (there is also a one-mile fun run). 9:30 AM. $10-$20. buttercuprun.com.

You like fishing, right? Do yourself a favor then and give them trout a hand by attending Trout Unlimited's Willow Cutting Day. The willows will be used later this spring to improve fish habitat on Rock Creek. 10–3 PM. Lunch provided. For directions and to RSVP email Nick at 541-1195 or nlittman@tu.org.

Get your end-of-the-season party on down Lost Trail way at the ski hill's Skiesta party. There's still snow and partyin' to be had. 9–4 PM. Free. losttrail.com.

SUNDAY APRIL 1

Western Montana is definitely for the birds this time of year, so join the Flathead Valley Audubon Society for a Lower Valley Waterfowl Tour. Meet at the Park 'n' Ride at Hwy. 93 and Hwy. 82 nears Somers at 8 AM. Free. Call Leslie for more info. at 837-4467.

Get back in shape and learn something new at Freestone Climbing Gym's Intro. to Bouldering course, which introduces basic techniques, safety stuff, ethics and more. Class includes 1.5 hours of instruction and two weeks of unlimited climbing. 935 Toole. 12–1:30 PM. $40.

MONDAY APRIL 2

At Slacker Mondays, from 6 PM until close, slackline fans can come to Freestone Climbing Center at 935 Toole Ave. to test their balance. $13/$10 for students. Visit freestoneclimbing.com.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 4

Before you decide to haul a family of five from Florida on a four-day float down the foamy Clark Fork, go ahead and sign-up for Raft Guide School with Montana River Guides and get your Swiftwater Rescue Technician Certification. Apr. 4-8. 138 Big Bend, Alberton. $485. montanariverguides.com.

I wish I could quit this job and only do the stuff the Flathead Audubon Society does, like the Bird Identification: By Song, Sight and Silhouette courses. This week's class is The Basic's of Bird Classification, Anatomy, Physiology and Flight with Bob Lee. 6–8 PM. Contact Debbie at Flathead High School at 751-3461 to register.

Like it or not, if you were born after 1985 you gotta take the three-day Bowhunter Education Course if you plan to go archery hunting in MT. Darby High School. 6–9:30 PM, with an all day field course on Sat., Apr. 7. Free. fwp.mt.gov.

THURSDAY APRIL 5

Drop the controller and check out this month's theme at the Montana Natural History Center's miniNaturalists Pre-K Program. This month's theme is Osprey. Pliny the Elder would approve. 120 Hickory St. 10–11 AM. $3/$1 for members. montananaturalist.org.

You'll be climbing up a wall at Freestone Climbing Center's Ladies Night. 935 Toole Ave. 5–10 PM. $6.50/$5 students.

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